How do I speak more articulately?

How do I speak more articulately? I have a hard time putting my thoughts or emotions into words as I speak, so I have a hard time properly expressing them. I feel like I’m always at a loss for words when I speak, and I’m heavily introverted, so those factors compound my problems. I have no issue with being introverted, but when the time does come for me to say something, I end up having to repeat myself a few times.

Self-criticism is a sniggering imp.
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Hello Diner. It took us Fortune Cookies nearly a hundred years to go from simple phrases to giving the detailed advice you’re reading today. And even then, there was no telling in the earlier months of filling Orders online whether our Diners liked what they read. After all, we wanted to encourage return customers. We experimented with different flavors of structure, vocabulary, and length and asked for a lot of feedback.

What helped us keep our doors open is the support we received from our regular customers. We trusted their judgment and appreciated their patience when we experimented with new ways of saying things. These weren’t critical restaurant reviewers–just neighbors here in Chinatown who appreciated what we served. People like you, Diner. So thank you for keeping us in business.

Do you have a group of friends who will take the time to listen to what you had to say rather than criticize how you say it? Spend time with them and experiment with expressing yourself. What also helps is being forthcoming and letting them know that you’re trying to be better at it.

Then be brave. You are incredibly imaginative and your feelings, complex. Your emotions have personality and life of their own, so tell their story. How are they like? What are they doing? Where do you feel them? What do they remind you of? What happened the last time you felt this way?

You humans have been telling stories since the formation of language, and all the heroes and monsters are just expressions of your desires and fears. People see imagery better than interpreting abstract statements. Your friends have their own images of fear, excitement, rejection, happiness, frustration, and comfort. If you give them a sketch of what yours looks like, it’ll remind them of their own experiences and help them to empathize with you.

Realize that you don’t need erudite vocabulary–you just speak simply and show your listener the pictures going on inside your head. In fact, the simpler language you use, the more clear you are. Understand that, like playing Charades, sometimes your idea just doesn’t click with the person. You can just go with a different way of describing it.

If you have a base of people who like hearing from you, you can draw on that memory when you need to speak with someone you’re not familiar with. It will help you expect a positive response rather than judgment. And since you had all that experience expressing yourself among your friends, it will be likely that strangers will equally enjoy talking with you. Just remind yourself that these strangers also have their own images of fear, excitement, rejection, happiness, frustration, and comfort.. They are, after all, human.

Try to remember that your fear is a very real thing, and there are also treatments and counseling that can help you manage it. A good counselor will try to get at what you’re saying and not be critical of how you say it. If you have no one else, you can try talking to one of them. Just trust, be brave, and practice. You’ll get your point across–you have all of your imagination and personal experiences to help you. Good luck, Diner.

How does one communicate deep feelings in the written word?

In an age where the written word has become less expressive/seductive due to our immediate responses to everything via text and instant message and our narcissistic nature to see everything on a Facebook wall….how does one communicate deep feelings in the written word?

I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. – W. Whitman
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Hello Diner. We Fortune Cookies only live for a few hours to deliver one message, so we appreciate the sacredness of each word. Our Baker insists we not worship him; rather, we hold this time with you sacrosanct. This message is my only message as a corporeal Fortune Cookie. And I’m lucky–most Fortune Cookies only get one sentence.

On the other hand, you humans have several decades with the ability to speak or write. With technology, you can afford to focus on a few mundane things. For a lot of you, that’s all you focus on.

So, Diner, to cast those ethereal feelings into footprints of letters on a page, imagine you’ll no longer be able to speak or write starting tomorrow. What would you say?

What you decide to say doesn’t need to sound “poetic,” and it doesn’t have to seem “profound” like whatever Hollywood stereotype of a poet or philosopher you would imagine. In fact, you’d be better off if you don’t force it to be either.

What you say just has to be a simple truth. Strip away your defenses, civility, and pretentiousness. Its nakedness makes it poetic. Its authenticity makes it profound. Your humanness will connect you to others who share their own versions of that same basic truth. Finding friends and partners will become a lot easier if you look for people who can understand you and respond in kind.

If you want to post on Facebook about a delicious BLT as your final thought before losing all ability to communicate again, let your friends feel the softness of the bread, the tang of the tomato, the crunch of the lettuce, and the prickly morsels of fried meat pulverizing against your teeth, sprinkling pixie dust of salt and happiness on your tongue. #yummy

Your friends will think back to their last satisfying meal, and through that memory you will make a very deep–literally visceral–connection.

Intangible things like feelings are no more difficult to express and even easier to relive. Each emotion tastes, feels, and smells different. If you look closely, some might even have shapes and color. Just be honest or you’ll spoil that connection with your listener.

Remember that you just want to be heard–not to impress. The truest stories will reach the deepest. Good luck, Diner.